How to Fit More Fruits and Vegetables Into Your Diet

It is a fact that most people I see in my clinic don’t eat the recommended daily amount of vegetable and fruit servings. If you really eat 6 or 7 servings a day along with some animal, vegetable, and grain, nut or seed proteins you will desire little else and your digestion will function very well. You will feel full and satisfied most of the time, your appetite and weight will be controlled as well.

But how do you achieve eating so much fruit and vegetable matter? It’s not as difficult as it seems, all you need to do is increase your portion size of vegetables on your plate (eat less meat and more vegetables), snack on carrots, cucumber, bell peppers, apples, kiwi fruit, celery, etc. Let’s take a look at a few different ways you can incorporate more vegetables and fruits into your diet.

I have helped many patients over the years overcome their issues of eating more vegetables and fruits and have some tips that I think might help you. Try and get away from the idea of just eating meat and three vegetables on your plate and do experiment with your vegetable intake. You may like to begin by eating a combination of cooked and semi-cooked or raw vegetables. This is why I like Asian ways of eating, especially wok cooking. This way of cooking involves high temperatures for only a very short period of time, and the vegetables are eaten partially in their raw state.

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Wash your Vegetables and Fruits Well

Besides pesticides, fungicides, and other chemicals, mold spores maybe present on the outside of fruits and vegetables, it’s important to wash them well before you consume them, especially if you are very unwell with a yeast infection. The more chronic your yeast infection or digestive problem, the more important it will become for you to eat pre­dominantly organic and spray-free produce. You can help to clean your vegetables more effectively by adding a little Bragg’s organic apple cider vinegar to the water.

4 Steps to A Diet Richer In Fresh Fruits & Vegetables

First Step – First it is a good idea to tell yourself all the reasons why you should eat fruit and vegetables in increasing amounts in your diet, there are too many reasons why you should eat more of these health foods and less of the processed and refined foods, this will help you stay motivated and make you think twice about buying that bar of chocolate or packet of your favorite snack food like chips, whatever this treat may be. Watch how your digestion and bowel health improves, you will certainly notice this. Tell yourself you will be halving your risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Visualize how great you will look and feel, as you get older.

Second Step – Write a list of all the fruits and vegetables that you enjoy eating and actually like the taste of and wouldn’t mind eating on a regular basis. If you put a bit of thought into this, you will be surprised to find that your list will be a lot longer than you originally thought! This will help you to realize that you have many options indeed to pick and choose from, and not just the boring green stuff like lettuce, cucumber and tomatoes.

Third Step – Go to your fresh produce store or Farmer’s Market and buy several of your favorite vegetables and fruits. Start by adding one new vegetable each week, which means that after a month you will have added four vegetables you wouldn’t normally have eaten. Try and aim for seven to nine different vegetables that you will eat on a regular daily basis. Include two or three leafy green vegetables (broccoli, spinach, bok choy, lettuce, etc.) Two or three colorful vegetables (bell pepper, egg plant, zucchini, asparagus, corn, etc.) and two or three starchy or root vegetables (sweet potato, pumpkin, potato, parsnip, onions, squash, etc.).

You will soon notice however that we limit these starchy vegetables initially for the first few weeks as you commence the Candida Crusher Diet, but then add them back as your digestion improves. Now depending on how you like to eat these vegetables, there are seven different ways as you will see in a moment, I’d recommend stir-fry or semi raw like saute’.

Fourth Step – Understand that what you do for a twenty-one day period of time can become a habit. If you begin to incorporate more vegetables into your diet on a daily basis for twenty-one days then you may very well find that it becomes part of what you normally do with your mealtimes. When you eat out be sure to order a meal rich in vegetables, like a Thai dish or a Japanese meal. It’s not hard to do and once a habit is formed it will become part of our normal routine.

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There are many ways that you can increase your intake of fresh vegetables and fruits, depending on how you like to prepare your foods. You can eat vegetables and fruits raw, steamed, boiled, stewed, baked, or stir-fried or deep-fried . When you eat vegetables and fruits in their raw state, you are ensuring that your digestive system has access to the valuable nutrients contained within. Eating vegetables and fruits in a semi-raw state is good too, and in many cases it will be a more pleasant experience.

Stir-frying is personally my favorite method of cooking vegetables, but so is a partial steaming of vegetables. Remember, the more and prolonged heat you apply, the more chance you will be destroying those all-important enzymes. Casseroles, soups and stews are a favorite method for many people, particularly in the colder months. These methods are good, and even though you reduce the enzyme content, you lock in many minerals that would be otherwise discarded by cooking methods such as boiling or steaming.

Simple enough, yes? Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

 

 

About Eric Bakker N.D.

Eric Bakker ND has completed almost ten years of study and has almost almost 25 years of clinical experience in natural and integrative forms of medicine, and has pursued continuous post-graduate study in Australia, America, India as well as in New Zealand.

Eric is the past Vice President of the NZ Natural Medicine Association and is currently on their editorial advisory board.

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